RomaFictionFest heavy on the homegrown

Giorgio Capitani's 'Puccini' will have its world premiere

ROME -- The world premiere of Giorgio Capitani's in-progress "Puccini" and the competition screening of David Wu's miniseries "Open Road" will be among the highlights of the opening night of the second RomaFictionFest, organizers aid Friday.

Other highlights from the July 7-12 event include a lifetime achievement honor to British actress Helen Mirren and two new screening categories: the in-progress sidebar that will feature Capitani's exploration into the life of the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, and an after-midnight sidebar that will feature late-night screenings aimed at younger audiences.

All three major Italian broadcasters will have a heavy presence at the event: Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset, state-owned RAI, and News Corp.'s Sky Italia.

The festival -- which focuses on television fiction -- also will include a "pitching" area co-sponsored by RAI Trade, an initiative that officials said would evolve into a full television market in the future.

The existence of a market and a local flavored lineup -- as with last year, this year's fare has a heavy Italian accent -- are two of the factors hindering the RomaFictionFest's efforts to step into the vacuum created by the disappearance of MIFED, the storied Milan market event that disappeared three years ago.